How to Play Poker Better – Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Game
Two inexperienced players pick up the game of poker at the same time. While one of them progresses fast and becomes a winning player, the other one ends up as a marginal loser.
What's the difference between them?
It's clear that the winning player was able to learn how to play poker better, while another one was not. Not only does one player fail to improve the required skills, but they probably can't even tell why.
In order to make things better, it's necessary to master the basics first. After that, a player will be able to develop his or her own strategy and start winning.
With that in mind, let us walk you through the game rules and provide some useful tips.
Ten Basic Five-card Hands
Despite a wide variety of versions, poker hand rankings are almost always the same. They are described in a so-called Cheat Sheet, and you can find one of those on our site as well.
So, what is it all about? It's about winning poker hands. From higher to lower, they are listed below:
- The royal straight flush. It includes a run of cards, from Ten to Ace. All of them should be of one suit, i.e., all clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades. Only the royal flush of another suit can tie but not beat you;
- A straight flush is the sequence of 5 cards of the same suit;
- 4 of a kind. It means you have 4 cards of the same rank. If these four cards are aces, then no royal flush is available;
- A full house contains three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank (three Jacks and two 4s, for example);
- A straight is a sequence of five cards of differing suits;
- 3 of a kind means 3 cards of the same rank;
- 2 pair is two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank (two Jacks and two 4s, for example);
- Pair is 2 cards of the same rank;
- A high card is no pair hand that doesn't fall into any other category.
Place Starting Bets
When betting in poker, you only have five options. Study them and make the right decision at the right time. You should know when to:
- Check – stay in the hand without betting money;
- Fold – discard the hand and forfeit interest in the current pot;
- Bet – you put your money in the pot, and other players may fold, call or raise;
- Call – you match someone's bet to stay in the hand;
- Raise – you increase the current bet size. Other players have to fold, call, or raise your bet.
Bet, Call, or Raise?
In essence, Texas Hold'em is a classic poker where each player starts a game with two closed cards – it is one of the basic rules of poker.
Then four betting rounds follow. During them, the dealer forms a board of five community cards, and all bets are made.
Common cards can be used by any player together with their “closed” cards to create the best combination of five cards. Closed cards may be used in full, in part, or not at all.
After the completion of the last round of betting, each remaining player will take part in the “showdown.”
It all starts to the left of the dealer when the players show their cards. That way, they can see who has the winning hand. If there is a tie, the tied players share the pot equally.
Strategic Poker Tips for Beginners
First, evaluate your starting hand. See if you have a pair, some consecutive cards, face cards, etc. Then decide whether to bet to see the community cards.
Raise the bet if you have a pair, face cards, or a pair of aces in your hand. Ace and king or ace and queen are also strong hands.
If you have them, bet before the flop to increase the pot and thin the field. If the card you want doesn't come up, you can either bluff or fold.
Sometimes good bluffing skills help you win the whole game, even with a bad hand. You can find the right poker room for you on top10bestcasino.
Call the bet if you don't have great cards but still want to stay in. It means you want to stay in the game but don't want to raise the bet. If the flop comes and you're holding a bad hand, check and fold.
You don't need to keep betting money on a hand that won't win.
If the flop comes and your hand is strong, bet on it. This will force weaker hands out of the pot. The other way to learn how to play poker for beginners is to try a free poker game at an online casino. That way, you'll gain the required skills to play poker for real money.